Baked Meatballs

The Mighty Meatball

I love finding out about new food trends.  One of the things that I predict will be big in 2011 is Meatballs.

Old Italian is getting new respect. Meatballs are gaining momentum. The Meatball Shop in New York (five kinds, four gravies) has endless lines, and Disney (Orlando) opened a Meatball and Beer Bar – Portobello at Downtown Disney.

Small plates in general seem to becoming “de rigor” for most restaurants these days and meatballs fit the bill perfectly – high protein, big flavor, small bite.  What could be better? I think you need to start thinking about meatballs on their own and fogetabout the spaghetti.

Baked Meatballs

Makes 20 meatballs, 4 to 5 servings

½ lb ground pork
1 lb ground round
5 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
1 whole egg
1½ tsp dried basil
1½ tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup bread crumbs, divided

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, ground round, spinach, cheese, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Use immediately or place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Place the remaining ¼ cup of bread crumbs into a small bowl. Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1½ oz portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds, roll in the bread crumbs and place the meatballs in individual, miniature muffin tin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

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